COLORADO

Colorado Unemployment Benefits 

Colorado unemployment insurance (UI) offers temporary financial assistance to individuals who have recently been let go by employers. To meet eligibility for unemployment requirements, the government takes into account the conditions that led to an applicant’s employment termination. For instance, candidates who quit their jobs for disliking their schedules are typically ineligible to enroll in the UI program. In addition, a worker’s willingness to obtain new full-time jobs and current financial standing are taken into consideration.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is responsible for assessing the eligibility of unemployment applicants in the state. Thus, candidates must be certain that they meet UI benefits requirements before they apply to the program. After enrollment, workers may begin to claim unemployment benefits throughout the period that they were approved for. The sections below detail eligibility requirements, how to apply for unemployment online and where to submit weekly claims.

What is unemployment in Colorado?

Colorado unemployment benefits are approved for a maximum period of 26 weeks. Additionally, unemployment insurance is offered to beneficiaries who have recently become unemployed due to circumstances that were outside of their control. To file a UI claim in Colorado, candidates must submit an application to the CDLE justifying why they meet the program’s requirements. Then, the department will review the applications by contacting the candidates’ most recent employers and obtaining statements from them. These testimonies will help the CDLE determine why the claimants’ employment was terminated. Thus, applicants seeking UI coverage must be comfortable with the fact that their previous employers will be contacted during this process. Moreover, the CDLE may also interview these employers to inquire more information.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Colorado?

Workers must meet certain eligibility for enrollment requirements in order to be considered for the state’s UI program. Specifically, applicants must be mindful of the following requirements:

  • The employment must have been terminated due to reasons that were outside of a worker’s control.
  • An UI applicant must be able and willing to work full-time if the opportunity arises.
  • Claimants must have earned $2,500 during the UI program’s base period.

A candidate’s unemployment insurance eligibility is determined by how much he or she earned during the program’s base period. In Colorado, a base period consists of the first four of the last five calendar quarters during employment. Qualifications for UI determine that claimants must have earned at least $2,500 during those quarters in order to be eligible.

Additionally, determining who qualifies for UI takes into account the reason why petitioners lost their jobs. For workers to be eligible to receive UI benefits, their employment cannot have been terminated for their own fault. For example, applicants who quit their jobs for disliking work schedules or not finding reliable transportation cannot receive UI benefits. Conversely, UI benefits are likely to be given to applicants who were let go by employers. The only reasons for quitting that are deemed acceptable by the UI program include:

  • Issues relating to domestic violence.
  • Workplace harassment.
  • Specific medical conditions.
  • Dangerous working conditions.

How can I sign up for unemployment in Colorado?

Many candidates wonder how to apply for unemployment online in Colorado. In general, applying online is the quickest and most efficient method for a worker to file an UI application. To apply for UI benefits, candidates must be 18 years of age or older and provide legal residence documentation. Thus, petitioners may identify themselves by submitting one of the following documents:

  • Valid driver’s license or state identification card
  • Valid United States passport
  • United States military identification card
  • United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner identification card
  • Native American tribal identification document

To file for UI, petitioners must also submit documents that justify why they have been let go. In addition, claimants must prepare a comprehensive explanation that highlights the reasons that led to their employment termination. Moreover, during an unemployment registration process, candidates will be required to submit their bank information. After candidates enroll into the program, the CDLE sets up the direct deposit of UI funds into their bank accounts.

How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Colorado?

The CDLE may conduct an unemployment phone interview with certain applicants if the department has any questions regarding their applications. In order to prepare for the UI interview in CO, claimants must first understand the reasons for these interviews.

In general, there are two common scenarios that yield these UI phone interviews. First, the CDLE may require an interview if claimants produce incomplete or unclear information in their applications. Thus, the questions asked during unemployment interview would be directed toward clarifying those imprecise details. Secondly, the state may require an interview if there is conflicting information between worker and employer. After applying for UI benefits, the CDLE conducts an unemployment interview with employers of a candidate. During that process, employers can provide their own perspective regarding an employment termination. Furthermore, if an employer’s statements contradict the details provided by a worker, the CDLE will investigate by interviewing both parties.

Employers and workers generally worry about how to pass the unemployment insurance interview because these conversations can impact the CDLE’s decision. However, it is important for employers and applicants to just focus on presenting accurate information during their interviews. Moreover, lying or misrepresenting facts during these interviews is illegal and would result in the dismissal of these testimonies.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in Colorado?

In order to claim unemployment benefits in Colorado, beneficiaries must submit claim updates every two weeks. Claimants only receive UI benefits as long as they are able to recertify their enrollment. Thus, missing deadlines could result in the cancelation of UI enrollment. Furthermore, workers wondering how to claim unemployment benefits must complete the following:

  • File claims every two weeks – Enrollees must file a claim every two weeks in order to request payment. In addition, during each claim, candidates must report any wages that were earned during the previous two weeks. Moreover, these earnings are factored into their payment totals.
  • Be available to work full time – Candidates must show the CDLE that they are ready and willing to accept work should they receive any appropriate offers. In addition, recipients must prove that they have not rejected any work offers received during UI enrollment.
  • Actively seek work – Petitioners must prove that they actively sought out work opportunities during the weeks that preceded the filing of a claim. Moreover, this information must be recorded in a work-search log.

For recipients to keep being able to claim unemployment benefits, they must prove that they are actively seeking new employment. First, candidates must register with a workforce center online or in person. Then, applicants must complete five work search activities established by the CDLE in order to claim UI benefits. Afterward, participants must record their activities. Moreover, the following information must be submitted:

  • Contact information – To receive their stipends, claimants must document the employer contact information they used. This includes their specific contacts’ names and numbers, as well as their business names, phone numbers, addresses and emails.
  • Application confirmation – When enrollees apply for jobs, they must submit to the CDLE any submittal receipts they receive. In addition, claimants must also report the methods they used to apply for these positions.
  • Career development information – If recipients attend networking events or participate in a skill-development training, they must submit proofs of attendance. They must provide similar documentation if they participate in any reemployment services.

What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Colorado?

Claimants who are denied unemployment in Colorado through the CDLE have the right to appeal the decision. Upon receiving a Notice of Decision, claimants and/or employers have 20 calendar days to file an appeal. Workers or employers must submit their denied UI benefits claims online or through the mail to hearing officers. In the UI denial appeal, applicants must explain why they disagree with the decision issued by the CDLE. Moreover, they must attach a copy of the decision that they are appealing.

The UI appeal process in Colorado typically takes between four and six weeks. In general, relevant parties do not hear from hearing officers until they mail hearing packets. Moreover, these packets include information regarding when and where the hearings will take place. However, these trials may also take place over the phone. It is generally up to participants to choose how they want to present themselves. During a denied unemployment benefits hearing, employers and claimants have the opportunity to provide additional evidence or bring in witnesses.

Hearing officers typically issue a decision concerning UI appeals as quickly as possible. Furthermore, employers and workers who disagree with that decision can appeal again within 20 days from when the decision was issued. However, these appeals generally take between two and three month. Additionally, a panel will review all evidence that was previously submitted.

How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Colorado?

Congress must mandate a federal unemployment extension before applicants can receive UI benefits for an extended period of time. In Colorado, the maximum UI enrollment period is 26 weeks within the same calendar year. When the UI benefits extension is available, Colorado workers can extend their enrollment for up to 13 additional weeks. To do so, they must contact the CDLE to enroll. However, enrollees must be mindful that this unemployment extension is not common. Thus, the extension is only available during periods of high unemployment rates in a specific state or across the country.

How do I contact the Colorado unemployment office?

The Colorado unemployment office is accessible to applicants who have specific questions about the program. In addition, individuals can contact UI offices if they have any specific questions regarding their cases or eligibility. Moreover, interested parties can contact the CDLE through its toll-free phone numbers. The following address pertains to Denver’s UI office:

 

633 17th Street #201

Denver, Colorado 80202

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What happens after I file an unemployment claim?

Once your claim has been filed, you should receive an unemployment benefits guide or get access to one online. This guide will explain your rights and responsibilities while you are claiming unemployment benefits. You will also receive several forms to your mailing address. Even after you have been approved for benefits, you must still be actively searching for a job. In the state of Colorado you are required to make and record at least 5 job contacts each week in order to maintain benefits.

What is Connecting Colorado?

Connecting Colorado is an online resource that helps connect local businesses with potential employees. If you apply for unemployment benefits in the state of Colorado, you are required to join Connecting Colorado in order to ensure you make your minimum required job contacts each week. Connecting Colorado offers a cost effective way for local businesses to make new hires and makes it easy for job seekers to post their resume and search a large jobs database.

What is a ReliaCard?

The ReliaCard is a prepaid debit card provided to users by U.S. Bank. Having this card allows people who are eligible for unemployment to collect benefits electronically and pay for goods or get cash anywhere Visa debit is accepted. Your ReliaCard is valid for 3 years. After 3 years, if you still qualify for unemployment benefits, you can reapply.

 

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UNEMPLOYMENT AGENCY INFORMATION

Department of Labor and Employment 633 17th Street, Suite 201 Denver, CO 80202 (303) 318-8000 View Website Unemployement Claim File